Mirza Aziz Favours 'Special Fund' For Exporters
Thursday, 26 March 2009

The government should form a special fund to provide recession-hit exporters loans at low rates, rather than a proposed recovery package, the former finance adviser to the caretaker government has suggested.

"I personally believe no extra facility is required for any sector in the face of the global economic downturn," AB Mirza Azizul Islam said Wednesday, speaking exclusively to bdnews24.com.

"Let's follow the directions of the budget in terms of assistance to any sector," he said.

"But as an additional contingency plan for the recession, a special fund at government and private initiative can be formed."

They would repay the loans once they get over the situation. The government according to its ability and well-heeled big businessmen can contribute to the fund, he said.

The governmental taskforce formed to offset the fallouts of recession can also discuss the fund.

Many traders and exporters may cite the global economic downturn as an excuse to get facilities, but the government must make its decision considering its resources instead of giving in to pressure from businessmen or business organisations, said Mirza Aziz.

Top trade bodies including the FBCCI and the BGMEA have urged the government to announce bailout packages. The FBCCI demanded the government announced a Tk 6,000 crore economic package.

He argued that the money for the proposed package would have to come from cutting allocations to other sectors, which will affect them.

"And we should keep in mind that economic incentives will not ensure the exporters' stability."

"The financial meltdown is yet to affect the economy, I don't know why we all are so frightened. There are still positive trends in remittances and in the growth of export income."

The export earnings have increased more than 20 percent in the first eight months (to Feb) of the current fiscal year, while remittance inflow increased by nearly 30 percent, he said.

Many countries are experiencing negative growth in the two sectors, he pointed out.

To sustain the positive growth in the export-focused sectors, the private sector will have to join forces with the government. They should not wait for government incentives only.

There should be efforts to find new markets and increase the quality of products.

Source: bdnews24.com

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